Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day, Dads

And Now, a Few Words From The Father of Our Country:

"My anxious recollections, my sympathetic feeling, and my best wishes are irresistibly excited whensoever, in any country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom."--Gen. George Washington,  letter to Pierre Auguste Adet, January 1, 1796
 "When people say to me, as they very naturally will and do and probably should, "Why is this important for us to know in the year (2017)?", that isn't the way I look at it. I think it's important to know for itself. Not because it's going to help us better understand [the events of today], or have a greater equilibrium in a time of trouble. It will do that, absolutely it does that. But it's the same as justifying why should I read Moby-Dick or The Great Gatsby [today]. It's the same reason you should have read it in 1989. It is of value, it is of interest unto itself. It's an extension, an enlargement of the experience of being alive. That's what history is. And I don't think anyone ought to be, or really wants to be, provincial in time, any more than one would want to stay locked in the same place in the map all one's life.
I have to say too if that war had been covered -- [1776] is the most important year in the most important conflict in our history -- if it had been covered by the media, and the country had seen now horrible the conditions were, how badly things were being run by the officers, and what a very serious soup we were in, I think that would have been it too."
--Historian David McCollough
Lincoln on Washington:

"Washington is the mightiest name on earth — long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name, an eulogy is expected. It cannot be. To add brightness to the sun, or glory to the name of Washington, is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked deathless splendor, leave it shining on."
"Christmas is also a time to remember the treasures of our own history. We remember one Christmas in particular, 1776, our first year as a nation. The Revolutionary War had been going badly. But George Washington's faith, courage, and leadership would turn the tide of history our way. On Christmas night he led a band of ragged soldiers across the Delaware River through driving snow to a victory that saved the cause of independence. It's said that their route of march was stained by bloody footprints, but their spirit never faltered and their will could not be crushed. The image of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow is one of the most famous in American history. He personified a people who knew it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness; they must also seek help from God, their Father and Preserver."--Pres. Reagan,  Christmas 1983

Dr. Matthew Spalding at Heritage:

"...George Washington, the man who, more than any other, made possible our republican form of government. James Flexner, George Washington's greatest biographer, called him the "indispensable man" of the American Founding. Without Washington, America would never have won our War of Independence. He played the central role in the Constitutional Convention and, as our first President, set the precedents that define what it means to be a constitutional executive: strong and energetic, aware of the limits of authority but guarding the prerogatives of office. Washington not only rejected offers to make him king, but was one of the first leaders in world history to relinquish power voluntarily. His peaceful transfer of the presidency to John Adams in 1797 inaugurated one of America's greatest democratic traditions.".......
"War had come on April 19, with the first blood shed at Lexington and Concord near Boston, then savagely on June 17 at Breed's Hill and Bunker Hill. (The June engagement was commonly known as the Battle of Bunker Hill on both sides of the Atlantic.) British troops remained under siege at Boston and were running short of food and supplies. On July 3, General George Washington of Virginia had taken command of the American "rabble.""--'1776'

"The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, 'till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole People is sacredly obligatory upon all."--Pres. Washington's Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

"Moving in his own orbit he imparted heat and light to his most distant satellites; and, combining the physical and moral force of all within his sphere, with irresistible weight he took his course, commiserating folly, disdaining vice, dismaying treason, and invigorating despondency; until the auspicious hour arrived when, united with the intrepid forces of a potent and magnanimous ally, he brought to submission the since conqueror of India; thus finishing his long career of military glory with the luster corresponding to his great name, and in this, his last act of war, affixing the seal of fate to our nation’s birth.

First in War, first in Peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, digified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting. . . . Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues."--Washington's Eulogy, written by Justice John Marshall and delivered by Gen. Henry Lee
"Andre has met his fate with that fortitude which was to be expected from an accomplished man and gallant officer. He was more unfortunate than criminal."--Washington to Colonel Laurens, after convicting the Christian gentleman Maj. Andre in a military tribunal for conspiring with the traitor Arnold.

"Posterity will talk of Washington as the founder of a great empire, when my name shall be lost in the vortex of revolution."--Napoleon Bonaparte

"He has been set apart high above all other men, and reverenced with the unquestioning veneration accorded only to the leaders of mankind and the founders of nations; and in this very devotion lies one secret at least of the fact that, while all men have praised Washington, comparatively few have understood him. He has been lifted up high into a lonely greatness, and unconsciously put outside the range of human sympathy. He has been accepted as being nearly perfect as it is given to man to be but our warm personal interest has been reserved for other and lesser men who seemed to be nearer to us in their virtues and their errors alike.

Men who are loudly claimed to be faultless always excite a certain type of resentment. It is a dangerous eminence for anyone to occupy. The temples of Greece are in ruins, and her literature is little more than a collection of fragments, but the feelings of the citizens who exiled Aristides because they were weary of hearing him called "just," exist still, unchanged and unchangeable. Washington has not only been called "just," but he has had every other good quality attributed to him by countless biographers and eulogists with an almost painful iteration, and the natural result has followed. Many persons have felt the sense of fatigue which the Athenians expressed practically by their oyster shells and have been led to cast doubts on Washington's perfection as the only consolation for their own sense of injury."--"George Washington The Man" by Henry Cabot Lodge
"No compact among men... can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and if I may so express myself, that no Wall of words, that no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other."--George Washington, draft of First Inaugural Address, April 1789
Forrest McDonald's George Washington: Today’s Indispensable Man:
As a soldier he was capable of rashness and poor judgment. He was addicted to gambling, indulged in a good deal of wenching, and was said to be a “most horrid swearer.” He was vain, a bit pretentious, and hot tempered; and though he was a perfect gentleman in public, he was sometimes not in private.

Yet he was respected, admired, even revered by his countrymen, and he was the most trusted man of the age. What is more, and different, he was the most trustworthy man. Why he was so trusted, and came to be so trustworthy—in revolutionary circumstances of a kind that almost invariably breed Caesars, Cromwells, Castros, and Stalins—are questions that must be examined if we are to understand Washington’s true legacy.

"If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."--King George, upon hearing from painter Benjamin West that the victorious General Washington was voluntarily relinquishing power.

"If buttercups buzz'd after the bee
If boats were on land, churches on sea
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse
If the mamas sold their babies
To the Gypsies for half a crown
If summer were spring
And the other way 'round
Then all the world would be upside down!"
--"The World Turned Upside Down",
played by the British when George Washington defeated the World's Only Superpower at Yorktown in 1781

There's your role model, American Dads.
"If we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War."--President George Washington

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